Microsoft possibly acquiring semantic search engine Powerset just a few days ago when it was still a rumor. Today, both Microsoft and Powerset have confirmed that they have reached a deal. When rumors about this acquisition first appeared, the price for Powerset was supposed to be somewhere around $100 Million, though neither company has disclosed the final prize so far.We wrote about
In a statement about the acquisition, Powerset says that it needed a bigger partner to expand its product beyond its current state of only searching Wikipedia - something we had speculated about when the rumors of the acquisition first appeared. In its own statement, Microsoft stresses how useful Powerset's technology will be for improving Microsoft's own search products and to "take Search to the next level."
So far, none of the larger search engines have been able to capitalize on the promises of semantic search. Most of the innovations in the space so far have come from small start-ups and even those never made any real inroads in terms of market share when compared to the keyword driven search engines of Google, Ask, Yahoo, and Microsoft.
Powerset's technology might just give Microsoft the ability to differentiate its Live Search product from the competition.